While liposuction surgery removes excess fat from under the skin, it is crucial to preserve some fatty tissue to prevent skin asymmetries, destruction of the natural curves, gaunt appearance, and other “stigmata.”
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili shares his techniques that allow him to deliver smooth liposuction results.
- Proper patient selection
The success of any body contouring surgery largely depends on the patient’s anatomy. In liposuction, the right candidate should have good skin quality (no redundant or loose skin) and a stable weight to achieve pleasing results.
Meanwhile, skin irregularities are common among yoyo dieters, patients who ask for repeat procedures on the same area, and individuals with poor skin quality.
- Avoid over-aggressive liposuction
There are several techniques to avoid inadvertent removal of too much fat. One effective way is to meticulously examine the patient in several positions—e.g., upright position (static and with muscle flexed), lying on one’s back or side, etc.
Proper position is more important at the time of surgery. A good rule of thumb is to avoid exaggerating the fat bulges—for instance, lying flat could amplify the saddlebags and upper arm rolls.
Other ways to minimize the risk of over-aggressive include the use of microcannulas which remove fats in small pieces rather than in big portions, and quick aspiration in one spot rather than treating it for too long.
If skin or contour irregularities occur at the end of surgery due to inadvertent over-liposuction, it is important to shift some of the fats around the over-treated area to correct the lumps or depressions.
But if contour irregularities are detected when the patient is no longer on the operating table, reverse liposuction or fat grafting can correct the problem. However, one must wait for after a minimum of six months from the initial surgery to achieve predictable results from revisions.
- Preserve a layer of fat especially under the skin
Leaving at least 5 mm of fatty layer beneath the skin can minimize the risk of depression, lumps, and bumps. Failure to adhere to this guideline can lead to defects that are difficult to revise.
- Use compression garments
These should fit snugly without causing pressure problems that could delay one’s recovery. The idea is that expelling the edema or excess fluids, which form within the cavities where the fat has been removed, can lead to faster recovery and smoother results.
Correct use of compression garments during the initial phase of liposuction recovery can also promote skin adhesion, further improving the surgery’s results.